Houston, We Have A Public Domain Problem

Posted by BernardSwiss on Jun 27, 2014 11:42 AM EDT
medium.com; By Parker Higgins
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I received a bogus copyright takedown notice for using public domain audio on SoundCloud yesterday. The sound in question—the famous “Houston, we have a problem” snippet of the Apollo 13 mission—is incontrovertibly available to all, for any use, without copyright restrictions. The fact that it’s been yanked from my SoundCloud page, though, is a sad demonstration of how completely many online services have swallowed the fallacy that “unauthorized” means “unacceptable”...

... So I was disheartened when I got the takedown, and even more so when I looked through the guidelines for disputing an automatic match and found that I faced a presumption of guilt. There’s no option for “The work in question is not restricted by copyright,” or even “I am making a fair use.” Instead, the “valid reasons” offered are variations on the theme that I actually have permission—not that I never needed it in the first place.

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